Tag Archives: beauty

Vote for Your Favorite Greeks!: GABBY Voting

20 Mar

gab

You, yes YOU, have the power to select the winners of the 2013 GABBY Awards. What’s that? You’ve never heard of the GABBYs? Where have you been, my friend? The GABBY Awards celebrates Greek America’s best and brightest:

The Gabby Awards were created to celebrate those Greek North Americans who strive to be the very best at what they do. Whether in business, philanthropy, the arts, education or other areas of interest that our awards cover, we celebrate the pursuit excellence as a core Greek ideal and are inspired by people who pursue excellence.

The name “Gabby” comes from the acronym “Greek America’s Best and Brightest Stars” and the Gabby has quickly become the top achievement awards for Greek North Americans. The awards are based on a purely meritocratic system that involves a 100-member Academy that determines the nominees, followed by a popular vote via the internet.

I attended the 2011 GABBY Awards on Ellis Island, which were AMAZING. Here are my recaps.

This year, the star-studded festivities will take place in Hollywood.

And the nominees are….

…Drum roll, please!

Business & Entrepreneurism

  • Sophia Amoruso, Founder and Owner, Nasty Gal (fashion)
  • George Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney Resort
  • Arianna Huffington, Journalist and Founder of the Huffington Post

Politics & Public Service

  • Andromache Karakastanis, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Reince R. Priebus, Attorney, Chairman of the Republican National Committee
  • John Sarbanes, Maryland Congressman

Philanthropy

  • John Paul DeJoria, Co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems, Patron Spirits, and JP Selects
  • Michael Lazaridis, Founder of Blackberry, Philanthropist
  • John Pappajohn, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

Athletics

  • George Kontos, Professional Baseball Player
  • Christina Loukas, Olympian, Diver
  • Nick Markakis, Professional Baseball Player

Education

  • Nicholas Economides, Professor of Economics
  • C. L. Max Nikias, President, University of Southern California
  • Nicholas Zeppos, Chancellor, Vanderbilt University

Arts & Culture

  • Alexander Payne, Screenwriter and Director
  • George Pelecanos, Novelist, Writer and Producer
  • Greg Yaitanes, Director and Innovator

Performing Arts

  • Chris Diamantopoulos, Actor
  • Tina Fey, Actress
  • Zachary Galifianakis, Actor and Comedian

Science & Medicine

  • Paul Alivisatos, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science
  • Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder, Chairman & CEO of the X Prize Foundation
  • Constantine Stratakis, M.D. D.Sc., Medical Investigator

You can officially vote here. Let me know in the comments section, though, who you’re voting for. Also, is there anyone that didn’t make the cut that you think should have been nominated?

Advertisements

Greek American Fashion Week: Timothy George

21 Sep

 

 

 

The Greek American Fashion Week Show concluded with the Spring/Summer 2013 collection by Timothy George.  Learning through apprenticeships at highly respected garment factories, George debuted work that was pure luxury.  His designs looked expensive both in materials used and cuts.

George used beautiful French and Italian fabric.  The most stunning fabric was a lightweight teal erupting with raised, soft-looking orange dots.  This surreal and gorgeous fabric was used for a wrap blouse, a t-shirt, and a skirt.  Pairing them with a high-sheen orange skirt or with a more neutral and plain top or bottom showed how versatile this otherworldly cloth could be.  Other fabrics included softer ones, which were masterfully cut to bring a formality to their delicateness or were draped and billowed to promote their femininity.  Other fabrics, on the other hand, were tough and high-sheen.  With a high-end aesthetic, the collection reflected beauty, extravagance, strength, and femininity.

Timothy George is based in Midtown Manhattan.

Greek American Fashion Week: Angelo Lambrou

20 Sep

Of the four designers showing their Spring/Summer 2013 collections at the Greek American Fashion Week Show, only Angelo Lambrou debuted a wedding gown.  The fashion show’s founder and emcee Maria Pardalis, who looked gorgeous in one of Lambrou’s dresses (see pic here), described Lambrou’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection as “African tribal bridal.”  The all-white wedding gown made use of folds and folds of cloth, capturing movement and conjuring drama.

Another dress in his collection kept that billowy white skirt but swapped out the top for a polka-dotted red strapless top.  It’s perfect for bride who wants a wedding dress with unique personality.  It doesn’t have to be worn as a wedding dress, though.  It could also be worn to a fancy summer soiree, say a moonlit cruise.  An alternate version was that same dress but with a black bottom.  This looked even more like evening wear.  What caught my attention was the accessorizing — check out those fantastic statement necklaces!

In addition to the rollicking-waves dresses, there were also sleek evening dresses and smart daytime dresses.  The sleek evening dress was classic, a true wardrobe staple.  The daytime dresses had a retro vibe with stripes, polka dots, and thick piping.  They were flirty in a campy sort of way.  Very adorable.

Angelo Lambrou is based in the East Village here in New York now, but he was born in Southern Africa to Greek-Cypriot parents.  He studied fashion in Johannesburg and London before returning to Botswana to start his own fashion line.  He worked with Miss Botswana in 1999 and designed all the contestants’ dresses for the 2000 Miss Universe competition; he dressed Patti LaBelle for the 2002 Grammy Awards and Maria Bello for the Secret Window premier.

Greek American Fashion Week: ENOE ME by Lia Kastanidi

18 Sep

 

I’m one of those people who obsesses over fashion magazines from abroad, always requesting that anyone returning from Greece brings me the latest hot issue from the newsstand.  If you happened to catch the May 2012 issue of Greek Vogue you would’ve seen the feature on ENOE ME‘s Lia Kastanidi in it. From the urban city of Patra, in the Peloponnese region of Greece, Kastanidi has been garnering a media attention lately — and with good reason!

Kastanidi showcased her 2013 Spring/Summer collection for ENOE ME at the Greek American Fashion Week Show.  Making use of vibrant colors, flowing fabrics, and relaxed cuts, the solid-colored pieces in ENOE ME’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection had an urban desert vibe to them.  They looked comfortable yet luxurious, bohemian yet sophisticated.  Very downtown cool.

The ensembles in the collection evoke a casual nomadic flair.  This may have to do with Kastanidi branding her company after her native land of Uenye in the Black Sea of Asia Minor.

Kastanidi studied at the London College of Fashion and New York’s FIT (The Fashion Institute of Technology), before returning to Greece in 2007.

Greek American Fashion Week Show Recap

14 Sep

Gate-crashing fashionistas had no luck sneaking into the first Greek American Fashion Week Show, which kicked off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. The hot-ticket event was completely sold out well in advance of its September 7, 2012, date, and the security at the Midtown Loft & Terrace was tight.  After all, some of the biggest names in Greek fashion — ENOE ME by Lia Kastanidi, Timothy George, Angelo Lambrou, and Tatiana Raftis — had come together to preview their Spring/Summer 2013 collections, and even the Consul General at Consulate General of the Republic of CyprusMs. Koula Sophianou, was in attendance to celebrate these bright young Greek designers.  The evening was clearly about more than showcasing lush fabrics, innovative cuts, and taste-making, though.  The Greek American Fashion Week Show was a visually engaging testament to the innovative spirit of Greeks throughout the world.

Organized by the Fashion & Design Committee of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce (HACC), the Greek American Fashion Week Show was produced by Ioannis Makris.  Founder/HACCYP Maria A. Pardalis (pictured top row right) emceed the event, looking radiant in a dusty-rose-hued dress designed by Angelo Lambrou and wearing her hair in romantic tendrils.  Peter, also an emcee, took a more casual approach to style, embracing grunge’s comeback by rocking jeans and a plaid button-down shirt.

During intermission, attendees were treated to the captivating Sarina Suno, The Violin Diva (pictured top row middle).  Gyrating her hips, pumping her bow in the air like a rock star, and taming an electric violin into musical submission, the classically trained Japanese violinist, who has played in Athens and throughout the world, became the music she was playing.

Throughout the evening, NXNY, Trump Soho’s resident DJ, kept the atmosphere lively with an eclectic mix of new and old beats.

If you think the fashion forward don’t eat, you’ve never been to a Greek fashion show.  Delicious morsels from Loi, Maria Loi’s Upper West Side restaurant, circled the room, with attendees chasing after the servers for more.  (Incidentally FOS, the Forum on Orthodox Spirituality, will be hosting its outreach party for its new series at Loi on September 25 at 7pm; for more information visit the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.)  Flavored Stoli Vodka and other spirits and wines flowed freely at a neon-lit bar.

The event’s platinum sponsors were The Artisnal Kitchen, Jet Airways, Korres (whose products I used to get myself fashion-show worthy! Check out my reviews of the Pomegranate line here and the Wild Rose line here.  I’m pictured bottom row left in the image above.), Make, Mana, and Timothy George.  The Silver sponsors were Hendrick’s Gin, Loi, Snapshotz Photography LLC, Stoli, and YA Mastiha.  Other sponsors included The Cyprus U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Elefteria Georgalis, Greco Title Agency; Petros Georgiadis; George Kolotouros, Hermes Classic Printing; Peter Legakis; Katerina Matzouranis Duarte, Esq.; Evangelia Trilios, Esq.; and Mavromihalis, Pardalis & Nohavicka, LLP. There was also a fantastic silent auction.  The silent auction sponsors included Diane von Furstenberg, Godiva, Livanou, Dennis Bass, Kensie, Thalassa Restaurant, Ammos Estiatorio, Avra Estiatorio, Parea Bistro (check out my review here), Vareli Restaurant and Lounge, and Kefi Estiatorio.

The event was covered by Greek news station ANT1.

I’ll be profiling each of the four designers in the Greek American Fashion Week Show — ENOE ME by Lia Kastanidi, Timothy George, Angelo Lambrou, and Tatiana Raftis — next week!  You’ll get to see exclusive photographs from their Spring/Summer 2013 collections, along with commentary on their styles.  I’ll also give you the inside scoop on who these designers are and where you can find their designs.  You won’t want to miss it!  Each designer is truly unique, creating beautifully made statement clothing.

 

Bullies and Beauty and Beatitudes

13 Aug

“Bullied teen gets plastic surgery” ran the headline on Yahoo.  The accompanying photo showed a typical teen girl.  I clicked on the link to hear her story.  What had she looked like before the surgery?

As it turned out, that photo was the before photo.  My heart broke.

No, she didn’t look like a supermodel—but how many fourteen year olds do?  She looked like a cute little girl.  The type who in a few years would come into her own, but for now was just a typical adolescent.  Maybe in a year or two she’d start tweezing her eyebrows and wearing a little mascara, but at the moment she looked age appropriate and the only thing missing was a smile!  Oh, that little girl.  I recognized the sadness in her eyes.

It brought tears to my own eyes, bringing me back to my own awkward adolescent years.  I didn’t look all that different than that girl.  Judging from some old photos I have lying around, I may have looked worse.  I had tiny ears, but I felt like they stuck out.  I had terribly crooked teeth and had a full mouth of braces.  I was growing out a perm that never had curl or wave—only frizz.  I was skinny.  Not an attractive skinny.  The type of skinny that prompted the doctor to tell me to gain weight.  The list of insecurities went on and on.  Just like this little girl, I was picked on.  I spent many nights crying myself to sleep.

I’m not going to lie.  I still feel scarred from those years.  Getting bullied, feeling ugly, feeling trapped, it’s the worst.  But you know what?  It really does get better.  Maybe not right away.  And maybe you never forget those feelings, but you can move on, and those things that hurt you in the past hopefully make you a stronger person and also a nicer, more compassionate person.  You also discover that beauty is complex and strange and wild.

The doctor who did this little girl’s surgery said in the article, “She was picked for her surgery because of her deformities.”  Looking at the photograph, I don’t see any deformities.  The surgeon pinned her ears back and worked on her chin and nose, according to the article.  Maybe there’s something I’m not seeing in the before photo, but as far as I can tell she’s not “perfect” looking (who is??) but she certainly doesn’t have deformities.

I’m happy the girl who had the surgery is pleased with the outcome.  I’m not anti-plastic surgery.  If at an appropriate age someone wants to have plastic surgery that’s their prerogative.  But there’s a lot you can do without resorting to plastic surgery.  I do believe looks matter.  If your hair is messy, your roots are grown out, and you dress in ill-fitting, wrinkled clothes, it looks like you have little confidence in yourself, and chances are you’ll probably be treated according to way you present yourself.  I’m a sucker for makeover shows.  I cry almost every time I watch someone on TV get a makeover.  Because it’s not just about your looks—it’s about how you feel.  There’s so much you can do with just a little makeup and learning to dress to your body shape.  One of my favorites is What Not to Wear because they stress that you don’t have to lose weight to look great.

Supermodel Tyra Banks has talked for years about the fact that she herself has a big forehead.  Last month she even challenged people to a big forehead contest.  Over the years, she’s encouraged women to work what they got, telling them that those parts of their bodies that they may think are ugly may in fact be the very thing that makes them unique and interesting and beautiful.  Maybe there are aspects of your looks that truly aren’t desirable but those “flaws”—or “deformities”—should still be celebrated.

Tyra Banks told US Weekly:

This is who I am! I’m Tyra Banks and I have cellulite! That makes me ‘flawsome’ because I own it as part of what makes me unique. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think my cellulite is beautiful, but I think it’s ‘flawsome.’

My blog caption is “Embracing the Beatific.”  When I was thinking about what my blog is about I knew that, although it’s not exclusively what I blog on, I write a lot about the Beat Generation.  Jack Kerouac said that the word “beat” came from the Beatitudes of the bible.

I realized the Beatitudes expressed my viewpoint.  Life isn’t always what it seems.  The meek will inherit the earth.  The poor in spirit will find a kingdom in heaven. Those who cry now will find happiness later.

Beauty is in the imperfect.

 

Here are some bullying resources and reading material:::

Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories

the column “Interview with My Bully” on Salon.

stopbullying.gov

It Gets Better

Bible verses on confidence

Workplace Bullying Institute

 

Greek Goddess Skin with Korres Pomegranate Toner & Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment

4 Jun

Thanks to Persephone eating those seeds of the pomegranate, we now experience the changing of the seasons, according to Greek mythology.  Now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner, modern Greek goddesses are spending more time outdoors and less time caking on makeup.  These warm months are all about catching free summer concerts in the park, vineyard hopping in the Hamptons, and stalking the Coolhaus truck without worrying if your makeup is sweating off.     

The Korres Pomegranate line is perfect for baring your skin this season.

I really love how gentle the Korres Pomegranate Toner is.  I have delicate, sensitive skin and so many toners are just too harsh.  The Korres Pomegranate Toner feels like water—mythical water.  There is absolutely no stinging sensation, and my skin doesn’t feel tight after using it.  Even though it doesn’t feel icy or tingly, I’ve been able to see from my cotton ball that it is working hard to remove impurities.

According to Korres, the Pomegranate Toner:

_Helps purify the skin’s surface by removing excess dirt, oil and impurities while minimizing the look of pores and helping to reduce the appearance or look of redness
_Leaves skin feeling fresh, and looking smoother and more matte
_Formulated with skin conditioners to leave skin feeling soft

It also happens to have a fresh, youthful aroma–unlike most toners, which tend to smell like rubbing alcohol.  Korres Pomegranate Toner has a sweet and invigorating smell.

Even better smelling is the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment.  However, this product takes about eight weeks to work.  The benefits are impressive, according to Korres:

Breathable, oil absorbing formula to minimize the look/appearance of pores and redness and leave skin with a smooth, matte finish throughout the day.

KEY FEATURES & BENEFITS
_Instantly fills in pores to create a smooth, even skin surface texture.
_Clinically proven after 8 weeks to significantly reduce the visibility of pores (94% of subjects), the appearance of redness (84% of subjects), and improve the overall appearance of skin (88% of subjects)

I’ve been using it only for a few weeks now, and even though it’s probably the best-smelling face-care product I’ve ever used, my skin was shiny as ever in the photos snapped for my MFA graduation and the Mediabistro event I attended. I think my foundation actually rubs most of the product off when I apply it, though, so through trial and error I’ve learned to make sure the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is completely dry on my face before applying any face makeup.  (Beauty tip: Apply the Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment all over your face or t-zone, and while it’s drying apply your eye makeup to save time.  It should only take about 20 seconds to dry, and then you can apply foundation.  However, even then, pat your face makeup on gently because if you rub it, the mattifying treatment will come off in the process.)  Even so, the Korres Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment seems to work better for days when I’m not wearing any other face makeup on top of it.  And really, in the summer I don’t want to wear a lot of makeup anyway.

Neither of the scents linger, which is a positive for skincare, but if Korres offered a pomegranate perfume I’d be the first in line.  It’s the perfect daytime scent for summer months.

Greece’s fastest-growing natural skincare company not only draws its inspiration from the flora of Greece, where pomegranates have grown for centuries, it also is committed to eco-friendly practices.  The sleek and sophisticated packaging for Korres Pomegranate Toner and Pomegranate Mattifying Treatment is recyclable, and neither of the products are tested on animals.

So go ahead and channel your inner Greek goddess this summer, knowing that you don’t have to wear a lot of makeup to look beautiful.

Chloris and the Greek Myth of the Rose

21 May

 

The Greek myth of the rose is one of my favorites.

Chloris, the goddess of the flowers, was in the forest one day when she tripped over a beautiful nymph lying lifeless.  Chloris was so overcome by the nymph’s fate that she reached out to the other gods to transform her into a flower.

Aphrodite gave her beauty.

Dionysus, the god of wine, gave her nectar for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

The three Graces—the Charites known as Thalia, Euphrosyne, and Aglaea—gave her charm, joy, and brilliance or splendor.

Mighty Aphrodite: Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial

10 May

I’m in love with all the flowers that are blooming around the city right now.  Seeing delicate flowers push out of the ground and bloom in spite of in this concrete jungle inspires me.  It shows that even here in New York City, where you have to push for a spot on the subway and climb five flights of stairs to your overpriced, walk-up apartment, you can be tough and beautiful.  It’s like wearing a flower-print dress and a leather jacket.  Or like dark chocolate with rose hips.  It’s like having a fancy picnic in the shadow of skyscrapers in Central Park.  It’s like a wild rose.

Writing and editing around the clock, I haven’t exactly been getting a lot of sleep lately.   That’s the plight of a modern New York woman, though, isn’t it?  Sacrificing sleep to follow one’s passion.  I’m finally stepping out from behind my computer screen, to give a reading, though, and I don’t want to actually look like I’ve been burning the midnight oil.  I want to look picture-ready for my reading and graduation.  This is a time to celebrate!

I was so excited to discover Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial.  It uses wild rose oil to give a natural, healthy glow to skin.  It’s facial in a jar!  That means saving the time of actually going to the dermatologist or beautician to get a facial.  Just put it on before you go to sleep and wake up the next morning moisturized and radiant.  When Korres offered to send me the Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial, I was so happy because they’re one of my favorite Greek beauty companies.  Founded out of Athens’ oldest homeopathic pharmacies, Korres creates products that are natural and certified organic.  The Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial doesn’t contain parabens, synthetic dye, or animal by-products and is not tested on animals.  Korres’ Greek homeopathic roots and the company’s commitment to both beauty and environmentalism make Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial is indulgence one can feel good about!

After a long day of editing, a dinner meeting, and attending a reading, I was more than ready for bed by the time I got home the other night.  I felt so indulgent as I applied The Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial for the first time.  It smelled heavenly.  The facial is made with a fragrance, but it doesn’t smell overwhelmingly of rose.  More so, it has the intoxicating fragrance of beauty and sophistication.  It’s a bit powdery and old-fashioned, a luxurious aroma that drifted me off to sweet dreams.  Even though I have sensitive skin, the perfume did not irritate my skin.  Wild rose extract (Rose canina) is a natural source of Vitamin C, and so it actually soothes skin.

The Korres sleeping facial is made from a traditional recipe of Vitamin E, soybean oil, rosemary leaf extract, rose hip oil, and jojoba oil.  A clinical study showed that 100% of subjects who used Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial had “improvements in skin’s moisture levels and texture” and “visible reduction in appearance of expression lines.”  Meanwhile, 84% saw “improved skin radiance” and 78% “had visibly improved skin smoothness.”  If you ever read the fine print of beauty and skincare products, you know that those are pretty astounding statistics.

In Greek mythology, roses were actually white until the goddess Aphrodite was pricked by a rose when she was hurrying to save her protege, Adonis, and her blood stained the white rose petals red.  Women have been rushing about since ancient times.  Hey, we’ve got proteges to look after!  But sometimes we need to slow down, indulge in an impromptu picnic in the park, and take care of ourselves.

Thesis!!

30 Apr

I’ve got army print nail polish on to tackle my thesis!!